Posted by: koolwine | June 18, 2017

Comoros: Last of the Pirates

A British journalist travels to the Comoros in an attempt to unravel the mystery behind who killed President Abdallah in 1989 – was it the legendary French mercenary, Bob Denard?

Country Focus: Comoros

Last of the Pirates: The Search for Bob Denard
By Samantha Weinberg
Published by Jonathan Cape, 1994.
257 pgs.

Genre: Nonfiction

About the author:  As well as penning two other works of nonfiction, Weinberg has also published The Moneypenny Diaries, a trilogy about the adventures of James Bond’s “Miss Moneypenny,” under the pseudonym Kate Westbrook.  She is currently a British Green Party politician and uses her married name, Samantha Fletcher.

World Lit Up Rating:
(On a scale of 1-5, with 1 book = turned off and 5 books = lit up)

Samantha Weinberg

Quote:

‘My [Patrick Ollivier’s] motive in joining Denard was insane curiosity. I had served for five hard years in Rhodesia and when I finished I wanted to join Denard. At that stage, I would have gone to the North Pole to serve him. You must understand, he had this tremendous reputation. But it was all a myth. I went there to “ride the tiger” but I ended up with a pussycat. For the other men it was an adventure. They had nothing in common with each other, they were all there for different reasons, federated by Denard for a certain period of time. After my first week in the Comoros, I understood what it was all about: it was about the worst aspects of French mentality. There was no rigor. After Rhodesia, it was like Club Med for me. As for regrets? No, but I wonder if I could have done something better. There was so much mediocrity there.  Abdallah was a tropical dictator – not the worst, no, but he had a complex about coming from slave blood. Denard too had a complex about his origins: he blamed them for his failure to climb the ranks in the navy.

‘People are always looking for conspiracies, but in the Comoros there was no great plot, no conspiracy involving the French Secret Services or any other group. To work out what happened, one has only to look at the individual personalities involved and to demystify them. Look at Denard and at Abdullah and you will understand what happened.’

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